Video Game Sequels That Blew Away Their Predecessors

Every now and then, a sequel comes out that completely blows the game before it out of the water, regardless of how bad or good the former game was. I am just going to keep a running list of such games.

I will only be comparing them to the game that was released directly before the one that I rate significantly better.

Metroid II: Return of Samus

(Game Boy)

Metroid_II_US_boxart

The first Metroid on NES kinda sucks. This, especially for being on a weaker system, fixes a lot of problems with the first and expands upon the gameplay and environment.

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

(Game Boy)

Super_Mario_Land_2_box_art

The first Super Mario Land is a good game, but it’s very short and not that good. This game is much longer (though still short) with creative power-ups and levels.

Mario Kart: Double Dash (GameCube)

mariokart double dash

Oh my goodness, this game is good. Mario Kart 64 is completely flattened by this one, thanks to fun, creative levels, special items for each character, tons of unlockables, a huge character roster and just as many carts to choose from. Not to mention two characters at once!

Sonic Adventure 2: Battle (GameCube)

Sonic_adv_2_battle_box

So I’m cheating a bit on this one, as I’m using the GCN version. But anyway, SA2 is my favorite Sonic game of all time. It takes the formula of the first Sonic Adventure and makes it actually fun and not so sucky.

Super Smash Bros Melee (GameCube)

super_smash_bros_melee_box_art

This game was huge! 13 new characters, tons more stages, lots of other stuff to do in single player. The first game was basically a demo to test the waters. This was the real deal.

Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

Super_Mario_Bros._3_coverart

Damn…this game is good. Not only does it blow away SMB2, but almost every other game on the console. More power-ups, huge world, exponentially better and smoother gameplay. It’s baffling how good this game is.

Banjo-Tooie (N64)

banjo-tooie

The first Banjo-Kazooie suffers from a lot of the problems that plagued the N64/PS era…namely the controls and camera and everything else that developers couldn’t figure out when 3D games first came around. Tooie solves most of those issues and thusly, is a pretty stand-up game.

Mario Kart 64 (N64)

mario-kart-64-usa-nintendo-64_1513105811

Despite being crushed by Double Dash, MK64 is far, far better than the original Mario Kart. Mainly because the 3D planes suits a racing game much more. The controls are much better too.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch)

super-smash-bros-ultimate-switch-cover

Ultimate lives up to it’s name. An enormous roster, even more stages, and both which are currently still growing, and an actual fun single player campaign, and some other single player stuff that doesn’t really require you to play it through with each and every character. This game has given me just about everything I wanted out of the series and more! Not only does it blow away the Wii U version, but every game in the series.

Dungeon Siege II (PC)

Dungeonseige2

The first game sucks, really really badly. This game does not. It’s quite good, and happens to be the best in the series.

Red Faction: Armageddon (PC)

rf arma

RF: Guerilla isn’t so great. Armageddon happens to be one of the best FPS’ out there.

StarCraft II (PC)

StarCraft II

The StarCraft II games blow away the first couple games. A decade in between them ought to do that.

Tomb Raider (2013) [PS4]

TombRaider2013

This game, a reboot of the series, completely destroys not only it’s predecessor, but every game in the large series up to the point of it’s release.

WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness (PC)

warcraft 2

This brings some much needed improvements over the first game, and is ridiculously larger and more intense as well.

Final Fantasy VII (PS)

ff7

When FF came to PlayStation, it was the greatest thing for the series. Better story-telling thanks to cutscenes and the capability of a much larger world and expanded and flashier gameplay make this series what it was always trying to be. VII successfully obliterates FFVI.

Rayman 2: The Great Escape (PS)

rayman-2-the-great-escape-playstation-front-cover

The original Rayman is ridiculously hard and frustrating, and really not that good to begin with. The sequel switches from a 2D to 3D platformer and quite frankly is really, really good.

Mega Man 7 (SNES)

Mega_Man_7_Coverart

The jump to a new console meant great things for this series. This was a much bigger game than not only six, but all the others as well, thanks to a lot more collectibles, abilities and story elements.

Super Metroid (SNES)

Super_Metroid_box

This is far superior to the quite good Game Boy prequel. Like…damn.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past (SNES)

link-to-the-past

After the delightful and experimental Zelda II, this game returns to it’s roots, but in a much bigger and better way.

Medal of Honor Heroes 2 (Wii)

MoHH2BoxArt

The first game was some little, albeit decent PSP game made primarily for online play. MOHH2 is more what you would expect from a MOH game, thusly, it’s far better than the prequel.

No More Heroes 2 (Wii)

no more hereos 2 cover

No More Heroes is a fantastic game, but they clearly had a much bigger budget on the sequel, so there is a lot of improvement in gameplay, visuals and story.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

smash brawl

Just as Melee vastly improved over the original, the same was done for Brawl. This is a much bigger game with tons more content.

Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)

super_Mario_3D_World

Super Mario 3D Land is a neat game that combines the 2D and 3D Mario formulas, and while it’s a great game, I found myself wishing they had just gone with one or the other. 3D World changed my mind. This game is a masterpiece, plain and simple.

 

That’s all I can think of for now. I’ll add more as I think of them.

 

 

 

 

 

The Most Disappointing Movie Sequels Of All Time

Going hand in hand with my last post about why sequels don’t have to be better, and how expectations ruin any chance of enjoying sequels, I am going to keep a running list of sequels as I can think of them that were disappointing to me, whether I had expectations or not.

spiderman 3 Spider-Man 3

 

2007

 

 

 

I absolutely loved the first two in this trilogy, and when I heard Venom, one of my favorite villains of all time was at last going to be in a movie, I couldn’t rest easy until I saw it. This is probably the most excited I had ever been to see a movie in my life. In other words, my expectations were through the roof, and they weren’t even close to met.

Too many villains, Venom being terrible, and a heavier focus on MJ’s and Peter’s relationship were not up to my standards, and I hated the movie, all my hopes and dreams shattered.

After the third or fourth time I saw it, it grew on me though, and now I actually like it quite a bit.

 

amazing spider man 2 The Amazing Spider-Man 2

 

2014

 

 

 

Sticking with Spider-Man, here’s one that I didn’t have any expectations for. And it was still disappointing. Again, too many villains, and all of them pointless. This was almost entirely about Peter and Gwen, Spider-Man being in like four scenes the whole movie.

The first one in the series, I wasn’t crazy about, but it was still enjoyable, but not as much as the original trilogy. I guess I was a little bit hoping this one would be better since all the origin stuff was out of the way, but no, not even close.

But again, after three viewings, I can now say I really like this movie.

star wars last jediStar Wars: The Last Jedi

 

2017

 

 

 

This is the only movie in recent years that I actually did go into with some expectations, for it was finally going to give me something I have been wanting to see for literally my entire life… what Luke Skywalker was doing after episode 6.

And it was beyond disappointing. I can’t even describe how much so. Especially since the entire plot to 7 & 8 was to find and enlist Luke to help save the galaxy like he did before. The furthest possible thing from this happens, and it is a huge kick in the nads to every person wanting to see what Luke was all about.

The second he tosses his old lightsaber off the cliff, my hopes and dreams and childhood fell with it.

Oddly enough, after the third time seeing it, I like it now. Third time seems to be the charm for all these movies!

nullAvengers: Endgame

 

2019

 

 

 

I call this the best disappointment of all time, for it is a good movie, but nothing worthy of the Avengers name. They spend most of the movie focusing on the past, and paying tribute to the whole 11-year story line. None of the intense action was there, and the climatic fight at the end is a ridiculous mess of cameos.

iron man 2 Iron Man 2

 

2010

 

 

 

I don’t really like the Iron Man trilogy at all, but this movie is straight up bad. I didn’t have any expectations for this, but again, now that the origin stuff was out of the way, you’d think they’d have a good action movie with Iron Man in more than three scenes, and a final fight that didn’t put you to sleep.

dark knight rises

The Dark Knight Rises

 

2012

 

 

 

After the masterpiece that was The Dark Knight, this one had a lot to live up to, especially since the ending left it open for some awesome possibilities. Instead, it’s way in the future and Bat Man’s crippled and I don’t know what the heck was going on. It was filled with bad choices and ultimately a bit on the boring side.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. I’m sure I will add more later. But it sure seems like Marvel is really good at making disappointing movies.

toy story 4Toy Story 4

 

2019

 

 

 

I held off seeing this for over a year, despite the fact that I absolutely love this series. I had no interest in seeing it because the third one closed the series out beautifully. There was no need to go any further.

My fears were realized when I did see it. The happy ending in three was completely shattered. All Woody’s ideals were thrown away. Hardly any of the classic characters had any lines, Buzz suddenly became a clueless idiot. It’s a mess and it ruined my childhood completely.

It’s a good movie though as a whole, but I prefer to pretend it doesn’t exist.

a good day to die hard

A Good Day To Die Hard

2013

 

This lacks everything that makes Die Hard Die Hard. It’s an okay action movie, but a pretty terrible Die Hard movie. It’s a quick obvious cash out with a barely there story and not-so-intense action the series is known for.

My Top 10 PlayStation 3 Games

Of Sony’s consoles, the PS3 is by far my favorite…sort of. They are all so similar, it’s hard to truly judge, but in terms of games, this one takes the cake for sure. Looking into my top 10 was super difficult, because there are a TON of amazing games on the console. I couldn’t easily pick 10 of them, and the ten that I did, I’m not even sure if they are truly my top 10 or even ordered correctly…but whatever.

I’ve got a whopping 89 games for the console, and of those I have so far played 77. So here are the ten I struggled to pick out.

#10

diDante’s Inferno

Visceral Games/ Electronic Arts

2010

 

 

This is a shameless rip off of God of War, but it is actually better than almost every game in the God of War franchise. I couldn’t put this game down. It is so much fun. It was left wide open for a sequel that never came…which is nothing short of heartbreaking, because I couldn’t wait for it.

#9

re5 coverResident Evil 5

Capcom

2009

 

 

This game is so much fun. The enemies are awesome, the co-op is great, (but make sure you don’t give Sheva any bullets if playing alone) playing as Chris again is awesome. The story involving him, Jill and Wesker coming to a close is even more awesome, the intense action and real time inventory management make this a endlessly fun, intense action game.

#8

Uncharted-2-Among-Thieves-Detail-CoverUncharted 2: Among Thieves

Naughty Dog/ SCEA

2009

 

 

I don’t know why I love this game so much, but I do. The action, the settings, the characters, the story were all so perfect. I couldn’t put this game down, which is weird because the other 2 games in the trilogy (haven’t played 4 yet) I find to be just okay at best. But 2 is so stinking good.

#7

Resident_Evil_6_box_artworkResident Evil 6

Capcom

2012

 

 

Combining elements of all Resident Evil styles, having multiple campaigns with old and new characters interacting in the same interesting overall story that is fun to see how they affect each other and crossover one another, intense, yet tense gameplay, nuts bosses and just an overall amazing experience make this one of the best games out there. It is one of the few games I have ever played that made me sad to beat it.

#6

StarWarsfuStar Wars: The Force Unleashed II

LucasArts

2010

 

I didn’t really like this game the first playthrough, but when I came back to it, I loved it the second time around. The gameplay is so much fun and very satisfying. The story, however, is what is truly amazing about this game. It’s a shame they never finished the originally planned trilogy.

#5

forceunleashedStar Wars: The Force Unleashed

LucasArts

2008

 

I was hoping for a game with gameplay like this my whole life, and finally received it when this came out. I played through this game like 3 times in a row because it was so much fun. And being able to change costumes after you beat it is cool, especially when you can play as a whole slew of different Jedi. The story is amazing, the different planets look incredible. This one manages to slip by as the better of the two games by a small margin.

#4

God_of_War_III_cover_artGod of War III

SCE Santa Monica/ SCEA

2010

 

This completely blows away all other games in the series. This is taking the already perfect gameplay of the previous games and somehow perfecting it even further. I loved it from beginning to end.

#3

Castlevania_Lords_of_ShadowCastlevania: Lords of Shadow

Mercury Steam/ Konami

2010

 

This is another game I enjoyed from beginning to end. It borrows heavily from God of War, but does it better. The story is excellent, the gameplay is wonderful, the puzzles are fun, the scenery gorgeous, the music only adding to it’s allure. I just wish the second one came somewhat close to the glory of this game.

#2

Infamous_2inFAMOUS 2

Sucker Punch/ SCEA

2011

 

 

This game is incredibly fun. It’s got a very interesting story, all sorts of crazy characters, a bunch of areas to climb and explore, crazy enemies to take down and a whole slew of new powers. Top notch.

#1

Infamous-coverinFAMOUS

Sucker Punch/ SCEA

2009

 

 

That’s right, my favorite game on the PS3 is actually the first game in the inFAMOUS series. While the gameplay isn’t as good, I just liked the story and overall simplicity better. It was fun to stay in one city, obtaining your powers as you progress, trying to figure out what the heck was going on with you, and just killing hordes of gang members. A lot of the time, simple is better.

Movies That Are Better Than The Books… Are There Any Out There?

I love reading, and I suppose I enjoy watching movies as well. Half the movies out there are visual renditions of books, if not even more. The trouble with these movies are they generally don’t live up to the books remotely, due to all sorts of constraints, and many of them seem like rushed summaries of the source material.

But are there any movies out there that actually surpass their original writings?

I really don’t know…so from now on, I will be keeping a running list of any I happen to find.

Trouble is, I haven’t read the book to most of the movies I’ve seen, and the books I’ve read, I haven’t seen the movies, and kind of don’t want to, because they are probably terrible.

If you can think of any, please let me know!

I’m drawing a blank but here is what I’ve thought of so far.

Catch Me If You Can

catch me if you can

The book is sort of an auto-biography of Frank Abagnale Jr. as he tells of his time as a master check fraud con man. It’s a good book for sure and gives more insight into what was actually going on in his life than the movie.

The movie is much better however. But to be fair, it changes a lot and makes it more dramatic and eventful. The fact that two of the best actors ever, Tom Hanks and Leonardo DeCaprio, star in it helps it a whole lot too. The changes they make only improve it and make it one heck of a wild ride.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

lord tril

These films are truly a marvel. The books are practically nothing but long, relentless descriptions of nature, and an awkward closeness between Frodo and Sam. Each book gets better than the last, but they all are pretty rough reads.

The movies however…my god. Peter Jackson essentially took the characters and main plot goal and then did his own thing. He cuts about 90% of the books and replaces it with amazing action, suspense and drama and everything awesome.

What he was able to do with such poor source material is truly amazing. Not only are these movies infinitely better than the less than enjoyable books, but he managed to make them into three of the best movies ever made.

The Shawshank Redemption

shawshank redemptionThis is one of the best book to film adaptations I have ever seen. It remains very true to the original text. There are a few things cut, and a few things changed. All these changes actually make the scenes more powerful and effective, thus making the movie better as a whole.

As for the cut portions, they don’t really add that much significance to the overall story, but they did help understand Andy’s character better, and gave a better feel for the length of time he was imprisoned.

The Little House on the Prairie

lhopOkay, so this one is cheating a bit, as this is not a movie, (well there are several movies, actually) but a TV series. A really fantastic series. The books are a whole lot of boring, but the series is far from it.

 

 

 

 

And… that’s all I’ve got. Wow…hopefully we’ll see some more added here.

Again let me know if you know of any movies that you like better than the books!

 

 

Final Fantasy II-Now That’s More Like It

I recently ranted about the original Final Fantasy. Now I just would like to take a few minutes to talk about Final Fantasy II.

final_fantasy_origins_final_fantasy_ii_battle

Oh my god…what an improvement. The game literally took everything I complained about with the first and fixed it. This is a game I can see people liking and spawning dozens of sequels from.

Not to mention, it added a whole lot of unique qualities not often seen in RPG’s such as every character being able to use any weapon or spell. The leveling system is different too, having to constantly use spells and attacks to upgrade magic and weapon skills, as well as your base stats. It’s the only game in recent memory that I was excited when I got hit by things, because that meant you were that much closer to increasing your defense and hit points.

The only gripe I have with this system is it takes way too long to level up some things. Hit points go up easy enough, but your magic points take forever, as well as spells and weapon skills. The max you can get any of these skills to is 16, but you won’t get anywhere near that. I completed the game with only one kind of high spell…Cure at level 10, and that’s because you have to use it all the time. My weapons skills were level 10 as well.

ffii_arrows3_ps

The game doesn’t make you grind all that much, which is a wonderful thing. I really hate the games that make you grind for hours. This does it very balanced, until the last dungeon. My god is it hard. I was always strong enough to get through any dungeon without too much difficulty throughout the entire game, but then you get to hell or whatever and you find yourself very underpowered.

But the best part about that is you just fight some enemies there, they beat the hell out of you and you become stronger, so I was able to progress somewhat fast regardless, and by the time I made it to the last boss, none of the enemies gave me a hard time anymore. But if you want to get to the last boss, you better set aside a few free hours. I mean, holy crap!! You have to go through a tough and lengthy cave of hell and when you finally get through that, bruised and bleeding, you find yourself in an entire castle you have to climb now, nearly twice as big as the already lengthy cave. It takes forever to get to the boss! Fortunately it was my day off and I could sit there for a long time to beat it.

That is the problem with both these games. The points in between saves are wayyy to long. Throughout the week, I really only play for 20 minutes at a time. I constantly had to shut off the game in the middle of a dungeon, or just leave it on until I had time to complete it. It’s so annoying! And if you die, you are screwed. It’s ridiculous. You have to start all over again. Thank god for the inclusion of memo saves in Origins for PlayStation or I would never have the patience to play these games.

Overall, Final Fantasy is a piece of crap, but Final Fantasy II is great. Now I am on to Final Fantasy IV!